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Smackdown: Christmas in November
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Thanksgiving has come and gone, and thoughts now turn to sugarplums and street fights. At least that’s how Mick Foley sees things. Also: a world championship match, a pair of battle royals, and a few words from a wrestler who’s never really had a chance to speak his mind.

Mr. Christmas himself, Mick Foley, opens the show with season’s greetings and a lot of Christmas-themed matches that either go over the audience’s head, or they’re not feeling the spirit here in November. Josh Matthews, Michael Cole, and Booker T join in the fun dressed as an elf, Rudolph, and Santa respectively. Santa does a Spinaroonie, as if you didn’t see that coming.

Intercontinental champion Cody Rhodes interrupts, continuing his quest to draw Booker T into the ring. Foley obliges, making a match between them for tonight.

Match #1 – Alicia Fox vs. AJ vs. Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella vs. Aksana - Divas Mistletoe on a Pole Match

The winner has to retrieve a branch of mistletoe off a pole, and can cash in on a “very special prize” anytime between now and Christmas. Sort of like a Money in the Bank match, but of no consequence. Lots of Divas trip each other as Brie climbs over her sister to claim the prize.

Winner via ascension: Brie Bella

Brie seems to think she’s won a future title shot, but Foley states the obvious and explains that she actually wins a chance to kiss anybody of her choice between now and Christmas. Doesn’t free will grant her that choice already?

Match #2 – Justin Gabriel vs. Jinder Mahal

Mahal heads to the ring, chastising the crowd for their hypocritical holiday ways, and then proceeds to baste Gabriel like a Christmas goose. As Mahal is running Gabriel from post to post, Ted DiBiase makes an entrance with a bag of gifts for ringside fans. Mahal is distracted and Gabriel takes flight with a 450 Splash for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Justin Gabriel

After the break, there’s a trademark WWE wacky holiday party backstage, highlighted by two things: The Usos teaching Foley some of their war dance moves, and Goldust packaged up in an awesome Christmas sweater coming face-to-face with Dusty Rhodes. David Otunga tries to stop the shindig, but Foley puts him into a match with Randy Orton later on.

Elsewhere, Matt Striker interviews Booker T backstage about his upcoming match ... uh-oh, Rhodes attacks him with his championship belt, taking Booker out of commission.

Match #3 – Kofi Kingston vs. Tyson Kidd

These two match each other hold for hold until a double-clothesline brings them both down for a rest. Kingston recovers first, and the Boom soon drops on Kidd. Kingston somehow gets distracted by Cole’s reindeer outfit. He puts on the Rudolph mask and hits a cross-body off the top rope for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Kofi Kingston

Back at the party, Aksana holds some mistletoe over Teddy Long’s head, thereby completely negating the earlier Divas match. By the way, she eats the mistletoe, and Long misses out on a kiss.

Match #4 – Randy Orton vs. David Otunga – Miracle on 34th Street Fight

Otunga draws Orton out of the ring early on, but finds himself thrown into a pair of plastic Christmas trees. Then, more significantly, Orton beats Otunga up on the announcer’s table, smacks him with a cookie sheet, canes him with a striped kendo stick, and is on cruise control until Wade Barrett blindsides him, leaving him laid out flat. Otunga completely blows the opening, though, as Orton hits an RKO moments later for the easy win.

Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton

In the locker room, Mark Henry is having an angry meeting with Long, vowing to take out his frustrations on Bryan.

Why did we get a promo for the Mick Foley Smackdown Holiday Special in the middle of the Mick Foley Smackdown Holiday Special?

Match #5 – 20 Man Battle Royal – Winner gets “All he wants for Christmas”

The strangest entry is not Hornswoggle, who immediately hides under the ring, but Ezekial Jackson – whose weeks of promotional building lead to him being buried in the middle of twenty others.

Jackson does get the first highlight, tossing his former partner Heath Slater over the top before going toe-to-toe with Sheamus - and losing. Tyson Kidd draws the straw to Skin the Cat in this match, but Hornswoggle emerges just long enough to pull him down and eliminate him.

Sheamus finds himself facing off against Tyler Reks, Hunico, Heath Slater, and Jinder Mahal, and they leave him laying outside the ring – but not eliminated. This fearsome foursome pulls Hornswoggle into the ring and has some fun with him, but Sheamus returns to toss them all easily. Hornswoggle is game for a fight, and lures Sheamus onto the apron to push him off for the win.

Winner via tomfoolery: Hornswoggle

Sheamus is a little upset at first, but walks off to let his countryman celebrate.

One more visit to the backstage party sees Hornswoggle cashing in on his Christmas wish – and now he can talk! Without an accent! Elsewhere, AJ ups the ante on her flirting with Bryan by giving him a kiss, before Striker gets some very confident words from Mr. Money in the Bank.

Match #6 – Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry (champion) – Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship

Henry, his injured ankle showcased in white for the folks at home, still has all of his upper-body strength and uses it to toss Bryan around. During the first commercial break, he hooks Bryan into the ropes and slingshots the challenger face-first into the cage. Bryan eventually gets some shots on the ankle, bringing Henry to the mat. A LeBell Lock and a follow-up ankle lock bring Bryan to the cusp of victory, but Henry powers out of both holds.

Henry, maybe feeling a little punch-drunk, decides to try and climb out of the cage. Bryan catches him easily and scrambles over top of the champ, getting over the top of the cage before Henry pulls him back in. The champ holds Bryan across his chest and leaps off the second turnbuckle, landing a World’s Strongest Slam that secures the win.

Winner via pinfall and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Mark Henry

The show ends quickly afterwards with Henry jubilant but clearly taxed by the match.

Dave Hillhouse is liking the build-up between Rhodes and Booker T.